Put This On Your Media Queue #3

To Watch

Gone Girl - David Fincher can make a traditional Thriller into some dark and interesting shit. The best way I can describe it is if Fincher directed Basic Instinct. My only gripe is that Ben Affleck didn't work for me as that character. Besides that, this film is pretty good. 

To Read

What Screens Want - Didn't have a chance to sit down and read some good long-form this week, so I went and dug up an essay by Frank Chimero from my Instapaper archives. Chimero tackles the dichotomy of designing for physical things vs designing for screens. 

To Listen

The Blacker the Berry by Kendrick Lamar - Has been on instant replay this whole week. 

Gone Girl Soundtrack - Part of the reason the film Gone Girl works so well is the soundtrack. Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor collaborate once again with David Fincher and the moods and sounds are simply amazing. I heard that this Director and Musician collaboration compared to the Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone collaboration with the whole Spaguetti Westerns stuff.  So I guess you could call David Fincher movies since The Social Network "Darkwave Thrillers"?

 

Put This On Your Media Queue #2

To Watch

Chef - Really enjoyed Jonh Favreu's ode to the foodies. He directs and stars in this one and you can tell that a lot of love went into making it. It's an independent comedy with a lot of heart and a lot of delicious looking Cuban sandwiches. 

Florida Man: The Documentary - This isn't related to the famous @_FloridaMan Twitter account, though I found the link throughout that account, but it features the same sort of characters that the account tweets about. It's a candid portrait of mostly retired middle aged alcoholics, pill poppers, and hedonistic middle-brow southerners. It's great. 

To Read

The Great Discontent Magazine Issue #2 - For those who don't know, The Great Discontent is a magazine that interviews designers, illustrators, musicians, photographers, artists, and all other sorts of people in the creative community. They are mainly an online zine, but they just released their second issue of their print magazine.

AMA: Khoi Vinh - Designer Khoi Vinh did an Ask Me Anything post over at Designer News. Lots of wisdom was dropped in that thread so I suggest checking it out. 

To Listen

This American Life Ep #546: Burroughs 101 - An entire episode dedicated to the mythic, the decadent, and the romanticized writer William S Burroughs. The episode is a complete re-airing of a BBC Documentary. It's narrated, or as the British call it, presented, by Iggy Pop. Really freaking great stuff.  

Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes - In a collaboration with Squarespace, Jeff Bridges made this weird but surprisingly relaxing album. You can buy it and pay what you want, get a signed copy, and even get a limited edition on a 180-gram vinyl plate (golden wax) for $200. Jeff Bridges is sort of like a Florida man by the way. 

Pedestrian At Best by Courtney Barnett - This is a sort of riot grrrl, post-grunge song but in all the good ways. The dream of the 90's is alive in Courtney Barnett.

Put This On Your Media Queue #1

To Watch 

Field Niggas - Khalik Allah is a street Photographer from NYC. He takes stunning portraits of people from the side of street life that's usually ignored. The real, raw, and un-glamorized street life. It's ugly, gritty, but beautiful in its on way. 

Frank - This movie is a smart satire of all the indie rock mythologies you hear about. 

To Read

The Cobweb - Jill Lepore writes for The New Yorker about what actually stays stored on the internet and what organizations like the Internet Archive are doing to preserve data on the web.

City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age - I'm still going through this book, but so far I'm intrigued. I've been city obsessed lately, and this book gives an in depth view on what makes cities tick.

To Listen

Radiolab - American Football - I don't follow sports and I won't be watching the Superbowl tonight, well maybe the halftime commercials, but this was a really interesting episode of Radiolab on the origins of the game. 

Ghostface Killah 36 Seasons - By way of listening to an episode on Song Exploder, I've been rocking out to this for the past couple of weeks. Great stuff.

Twitter Douchepreneurs and Power Networkers

I've been using Twitter since 2007, back when people mostly tweeted about their sandwiches. Like most people, I didn't "get it" at first and I've gone through all the phases from becoming inactive, to kind of getting it, to finally sticking with it. I like it because it connects me to what's going on, but I mostly like it because I like people. I like real people, with all their imperfections and even their sandwiches. But Twitter got really popular and this attracted all sorts of people. Like fake and inauthentic people. Literally. Corporations and companies have Twitter accounts now, which isn't really the problem. The problem is people douchepreneuring themselves as brands and mass following people based on hashtags and keywords. I'm no expert, but I don't think this is how networking works, at least networking with real authentic people. What do you prefer? To have 1000+ followers with maybe like 3% of those paying attention? Or to have 100 people that really like you? This is probably one of the reasons why kids find Twitter so uncool and why Snapchat has become their go to medium. Twitter and other social platforms like Facebook pressure people into putting up a sort of a performance, while a service like Snapchat takes that pressure off, by literally making your stuff disposable, thus weirdly making people behave more authentic. I'm not saying that you shouldn't look for people based on the topics you're interested in. That's what makes the internet so awesome, that we can connect based on shared interests. But don't act like some sort of Twitter bot following everyone that mentions the word business for example, and then unfollow and discard them like a worthless baseball card. You should at least look at the last 10 tweets before deciding to follow someone on Twitter. Just common sense you know. Just, be real. Be human. 

The Advice Podcast Racket

Be wary about career advice podcasts. The people in these podcasts are mostly generalists and their success is based on telling people how to be successful. Seek advice from the people that are doing the thing that you actually want to do. If you want to be a web designer or a tattoo artist then seek out those people. I’m not saying that you won’t gain any value from these podcasts, but they really don’t have the specific knowledge and insight that you need in order for you to move on from that giddy optimism we all get from the self-help racket, to the true exhilaration of getting out there and doing your thing. So take your headphones off every know and then, and start doing some CSS sprites, or putting ink in people’s skin.

Molly Crabapple Interview on The Great Discontent

Didn't know much about her other than her Vice piece on Guantanamo Bay she did a while back. She's a super talented artist and writer.  Love the advice she gives to young artist starting out. This is her on motivation:

If you need to talk about how to get motivated, then go get a normal job in the normal scheme of the world and just do art as a hobby so you still love it. Stop clogging up the field for the people who need this like a drug.

Michael Beirut - A Short Doc for The Creative Influence

The Creative Influence does short documentaries on people in the creative field. For episode 13 they talked to Michael Bierut. He talked about working for Massimo Vignelli, the impact of the internet on design, and what makes logos endure. One thing that struck me in particular was what he said about how the internet has changed things in terms of promotion. In pre-internet days it used to take companies at least a year to see if their message was catching on. Today, if your Youtube video isn't getting enough likes or enough tweets, you start to question what your doing wrong. But to quote:

People's first reaction of things isn't necessarily reliable.

He starts talking about about this particular topic around the 3 minute mark, but the whole doc is treasure throve of design wisdom.